Maps.me uses the map database project OpenStreetMap, which offers free and all Editable Map, how to Wikipedia.
These are the functions that will be detailed later
- Download maps
- Consultation of POI (points of interest)
- Search Mode
- Creating a POI
- Travel car / bike
- Import track .KML
why use maps.me instead of Google maps or other map service ?
Simply because all functions can be used offline ! Indispensable during a bike trip where we did not constantly internet connection. So essential that it is the application nº1 used by travelers worldwide !
When opening the application, we can already see the world overview.
But as soon as enough zooms into a region (in the example here, Switzerland on Lake Geneva), a pop-up window asks if you want to download the region. Yes, not need unnecessary card data gigas ! One can choose the parts of the world that will serve us.
Another way to download maps and click the last tab at the bottom right of the screen and directly download by clicking on the cards. Once this step is performed, need internet !
Consultation of points of interest
Traveling by bicycle, life is simple but there are still questions that we can not escape. Where to buy food ? Where to eat ? Or sleep ?
L’application maps.me allows to easily answer these questions !
When navigating on the map and that enough zooms, many icons appear on the map : hotels, hostels, restaurants, shops and so on !
The full list of points of interest available right here.
So perfect when you are in an unfamiliar city or you want to plan where to sleep that evening !
When you click on a hotel, one can know its price range and rating booking.com. (The notes are downloaded with the cards.)
When you click on a restaurant, one can know if there is WiFi available and Cuisine.
Yes, WiFi is perhaps as important as the Cuisine !
One can simply search by clicking on the first icon in the lower left. a city name can be searched as well as the name of a point of interest.
Results are sorted by the distance where you are in relation to these points of interest.
Even better, we can choose a category and list all the nearest points in this category. Ideal for looking for a restaurant or a hotel.
Creating a point
To do this, it is very simple, just click anywhere on the map (an already existing point or not) by holding his finger until a blue circle appears.
Ensuite, just click on Save at the bottom left of the screen.
For a list of bookmarks, you must click on the icon in the bookmarks bar.
You can also change the bookmark.
To do this, you must click on the added point on the map
Then drag the bottom screen to the top and then click on IT ISditer to favorites.
You can change the color of the point, his name and even add a description if you like.
To create a route, one proceeds in the same way as to add a point. We wanted to click at the place keeping your finger pressed until the blue circle appears. Ensuite, the option is chosen : Since if your starting point or Destination if this is your end point.
If you directly press Destination, Your starting point will be automatically assigned to your current location.
Once selected point, we must also choose the mode of transport used. In order : car, on foot, by public transport, by bike, in taxi.
We will choose only car or bike in our use. When you make a choice, the route takes a few moments to calculate (longer or shorter depending on your phone).
Wait until the calculation is done. We can see the progress in a circle on the transportation icon.
By car, the shortest route is obtained, but on larger roads, not necessarily suitable for cycling.
With the bike, often results in a longer and twisty but normally via the most suitable roads.
In our example, however,, you soon realize the limits of the use of the bicycle option. The example used is a calculation in Cambodia. There is a paved road that is ideal for bicycles but is listed as a main road.
The algorithm used so try to avoid this major axis (which is actually a small road). The result is a quirky way that borrows obscure dirt roads.
So be careful to use the bike function with reason as the case !
This function almost flawlessly in the more developed regions where there are often several highways and secondary roads.
You can always try to "force" the route to take by adding intermediate points on the desired route.
To do this, once again, Clicking on the screen at the desired location while holding down the finger then the option is selected Add a stop.
The route is then recalculated to the added intermediate point.
On the other hand, the main interest of the bike function is the occurrence of a difference of curve at the bottom of the screen.
You can see the total time (useless for my taste) monitoring the distance and finally the difference between the maximum and minimum altitude of the planned path. therefore impossible to know the actual altitude but by efficiently using the points of departure and arrival, one can know exactly how many meters you will have to climb before reaching the cervix.
Right here, entre Siem Reap a Battambang, we see that the path is 235 km with 20m between the minimum and maximum altitude point, So ... in summary it's flat !
A great option, and that is very useful if we want to choose to follow an existing path, it can import log files .kml !
An example to import a record that comes from the app Cyclemeter (which is the app of the most complete bike counter on the market)
In the app Cyclemeter, I choose .KML export option which is to date the only readable by extension maps.me for traces.
on iOS, you can then import into maps.me.
A more universal method for importing the file is to send an email to yourself with .KML attached file and open it from the phone with maps.me
We can then copy the file .kml in bookmarks maps.me.
If all goes well, a pop-up window will tell you that there was a bookmark loading.
One can choose whether to display track by selecting the track in the bookmark list and Deselect the "Visible".
In the example, Bookmarks "my places" are not visible on the map, practice when we begin to accumulate full marks in all directions.
Yippee, What a nice trail to follow or to contemplate !
Problems and Limitations
Although the title seems to give an opinion without compromise on the issue, maps.me still has way to widely improve on some points.
- elevation Representation - For the time being, it's simple, but also too basic. Impossible to know for example the altitude of departure and arrival of the calculated route. It would also be interesting to have the min and max altitude of the calculated route. Why not even a full screen mode with the altitude that can zoom.
- Calculating the bicycle route - Before criticizing, hat for computational speed and length of the routes which can be calculated. From version to version, we clearly see an improvement. On the other hand, it is always the same problem ... failing to set the calculation, we often find ourselves on detours on paths obscure land instead of taking a more surely main road but quite possible bike. This is the whole problem of a bike route ... Some people swear by the little lost paths and some are almost ready to take the motorway ... options would put everyone agrees !
- Detailed maps - In some parts of the world, such as in Vietnam, the roads are not sufficiently detailed. One day, for example, we even crossed a city "ghost" tens of thousands of people who simply did not exist on the application ! This is also because maps.me sits on free cards OpenStreetMap, that works on the same principle as Wikipedia. As a user, if a road or landmark lack, you are welcome to complete the world map yourself.